Traverse City Film Fest: Day 5 Recap

A hard week of work (work here meaning attending a lot of movies and interesting panels that you would go to anyway) has left me exhausted, and, no matter how much I love the Film Fest, I do have another job that decided to gently beat me over the head with some unwanted hours today, and yesterday, and the day before.

So, I stumbled in to the comedy panel at the City Opera House this morning with a bad attitude and the little crusties still in the corners of my eyes. My mood didn’t last though; as determined as I was to be tired, put upon and ultimately professional. Sitting in the same room with Jeff Garlin, Paul Mazursky, Wavy Gravy, Larry Charles and Michael Moore as they riffed off one another told jokes slowly put a smile on my face. I still had to rush out early, but I did so with a spring in my step.

Sitting in the same room is really an accurate way to describe the panel. It was clear the principals had their own conversation going on; it was a funny one, so you won’t hear complaints from me. The two other panel members, Ben Steinbauer and fellow Austin native Bob Byington, looked a bit lost, or maybe overawed, or just not loud enough to be heard

That was sad, and I found myself giving Steinbauer silent mental kudos whenever he chimed in.

The discussion rambled from Wavy Gravy’s choice of beverage to the nude scene in Hair, which apparently was not appropriately anticipated (but Mazursky seemed to enjoy it). I had to slip out to make it to work, much cheered, but a little apprehensive. I made it out the door, sure the entire time that I was about to be heckled by a professional. I wasn’t

The magic of media is that I can compress or expand your experience of time, readers, at will. This can happen regardless of how long a stretch of time felt to me. Like this: my 12 hour shift just flew by. Then I went to see The Chaser.

It took me until tonight to actually look at the prices on concessions at festival screenings, but I was pleasantly surprised. Feeling magnanimous, I scooped up two large popcorn buckets (6 dollars total) for sharing.

The Chaser was another midnight screening, and it was this, the length of my week and maybe the day’s diet of only popcorn and almonds that had me nodding off toward the beginning. I don’t see many South Korean action movies, and was hoping for a spectacle with a big dollop o fun.

What I got was something all together different, an exhausting experience and an uncompromising film. I need some more time to process before I write about The Chaser at any length, but the experience was a surprise. After the movie I rushed home eagerly to get more than 5 hours of sleep for the first time in a week. Ah, bliss.

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